Franciscan Chapel Center – Roppongi Catholic Church
Franciscan Chapel Center (Roppongi Catholic Church)
St. Francis of Assisi
Date of Establishment
October 4, 1967
Russell Charles BECKER O.F.M.
Donnon Martin MURRAY O.F.M.
Callistus Philip SWEENEY O.F.M.
Number of Parishioners
1,109 (as of Dec.31,2012)
Sat.18:00(English) Sun.7:00(Japanese) / 8:00(E) / 10:00(E) / 12:00(E) / 18:00(E) Weekday Mass 7:00am (J), 8:00am (E), Wed. 18:30 Mass & Novena (E), First Friday 18:30-19:45 Mass & Adoration of Blessed Sacrament (E)
Sun. 9:00-9:50 am (K, pre-K: 10~11 am) (E)
Sat. 15:00(J) 19:15(E), Sun.13:30 (E)
Delivering 300 rice balls to Shibuya at AM5:00 every morning.
4-2-37 Roppongi, Minato-ku, Tokyo 106-0032
Make over 300 rice balls and deliver them to homeless people in the Shibuya area every morning at 5:00 am.
The Franciscan Chapel Center is an international parish serving English speaking people. In 1950 a Japanese language school for foreign missionaries was established by the Franciscan Order at Roppongi in Tokyo. Learning that priests from many countries were there, embassies and military personnel living in the Roppongi area voiced their desire to have Holy Mass. In time, on every Sunday a Mass came to be held in English. Participants steadily increased, to the point of overflowing out into the street. The need for a new chapel led to the construction of the present Franciscan Chapel Center in 1967.
Although the parish is designated for English speaking Catholics, the parishioners are not only from English speaking countries. Like a miniature United Nations, people from over 30 countries take part in the Sunday Masses. The sight of so many nationalities united in prayer in the name of their common Lord, Jesus Christ, makes us feel how wonderful is our faith. The Sunday liturgy is held in English five times on weekends; all together about 1,200 people attend. Each Mass has its choir, which leads the community in joyful praise to the Lord. At the end of every Holy Mass new comers introduce themselves, and we welcome them warmly. People often tell us they enjoy the friendly atmosphere of this parish. There are about 200~250 children in the Sunday school, led by parishioners. We feel special pride in the many volunteers, from this parish and elsewhere, who make and distribute rice balls (o-nigiri) for about 150 homeless people every day. The parish has done this continuously, in various parts of Tokyo, since 1986. There are other volunteer activities, such as support for under-privileged children’s institutions and foreigners in detention. But our distinctive mission is to be a community that serves as a spiritual oasis for the people who gather in Tokyo from all over the world.